Interactive TV News Round-Up (VI): Roku, Rovi, Panasonic

--Roku Seeking to Raise $50 Million for International Expansion
--Rovi TotalGuide Launches on Panasonic Connected TV's, Blu-ray Recorders in Europe
--Report: Rovi Seeking Up to $800 Million in Refinancing Loans

Because the [itvt] editorial team has been working on The TV of Tomorrow Show 2012, we are covering stories in this issue in round-up/summary format.

  • Internet-TV specialist, Roku, is hoping to raise up to $50 million within the next three months, to finance its international expansion, founder and CEO Anthony Wood told Reuters earlier this week. The company, which has raised $32.5 million to date, began offering its OTT set-top boxes in the UK and Ireland earlier this year. "All TV is going to be Internet and it's going to go quickly, it's going to go faster than people think," Wood said in an interview with the news agency. "We want to make sure we win because there's not going to be a lot of winners." Wood also revealed that Roku is in talks with BSkyB about making the latter's Sky Go service available on its set-tops. "The goal is to get Sky Go on our box," he said. "There's no deal with Sky yet. We're in discussions with Sky, and with all the content owners."
  • Rovi announced Thursday that its TotalGuide solution is now available on Panasonic 2012 connected TV's and Blu-ray recorders that are destined for the European market. "Panasonic's Viera Connect platform on these devices features a customized implementation of TotalGuide--available as the Rovi Guide application--for finding and discovering broadcast TV programs through advanced search and recommendations, and rich TV listings and images," the company states in its press materials. "With Rovi TotalGuide, Panasonic brings the ability for its customers to dive deeper into the entertainment discovery experience with descriptive TV program information on actors, TV shows and movies, and enhanced imagery that helps inform and streamline navigation from one content element to another. TotalGuide also allows Panasonic to offer powerful search and sophisticated recommendations to its customers, helping them to discover new broadcast content that may be of interest to them...Rovi Guide is available on a range of Panasonic Smart Viera Connect-enabled smart TV's in Germany, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Poland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and France; and on certain Panasonic Viera Connect-enabled Blu-ray recorders in Germany, United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland."
  • In other Rovi news: The company is seeking up to $800 million in loans to refinance its debt, according to a report by Bloomberg. The transaction--consisting of a $200 million to $250 million term loan A that will be added to an existing loan, and a $500 million to $550 million term loan B--is being managed by JPMorgan Chase & Co, the report stated.
North America